Smart Approach Blog

Welcome to Guidewire’s blog for property/casualty insurance. Here we'll share our experiences and lessons learned from more than 300 implementation projects. We'll also offer our point of view on industry trends and advice to help you adapt and succeed on your journey of continuous improvement.

Sep
21
2015

In my previous post, I began illustrating what Hadoop would look like as a business organization, focusing on the DataNodes in a Hadoop File System. Assuming all the rooms or DataNodes are in good condition, how do we start the process of gathering and analyzing data? The process begins with the managers (Mappers).  Each Mapper (manager) sits at one of the two desks in each room. It is their job to make sure that all the data that needs to be analyzed together ends up in the same room.

Sep
18
2015

Hadoop has existed for roughly a decade since it was first conceived at Yahoo by Doug Cutting and Mike Cafarella in 2005.

Sep
08
2015

I’ve had the opportunity to research and discuss system performance in a serious amount of detail recently. In practice this involved staring at row after row of testing results on various spreadsheets, along with digging through countless white papers and shuffling through old emails.

Sep
03
2015

Prospective employers have been carousing social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram to investigate potential employees for some time.

Aug
17
2015

Many insurers are just beginning to come to grips with the demands being placed on them by their customers. Consumers and businesses have become accustomed to interacting with providers of goods and services – like Amazon, Google, John Lewis – where they can expect a tailored experience, based on the intimate knowledge that those companies have of the customer’s habits, likes, dislikes and needs.

Aug
12
2015

I’ve worked at Guidewire, a servant of the Property/Casualty insurance industry, for more than nine years. I feel privileged to know people who have worked in, and in support of, the industry for thirty years or more. Based on what I have seen and learned, I feel confident in this observation: P/C insurance has changed more in the last few years than in the previous few decades, and the pace of change will continue to quicken in the years ahead.

Aug
06
2015

In my previous post, I discussed how analytics can help identify insurance fraud, but how can this be applied in the real world? There has emerged a relatively new technology specifically made to analyze and store relationships or graphs with blazing speed and flexibility. A graph is any type of networked data.

Aug
04
2015

Insurance is a big industry. In the U.S. alone, 7,000 companies collect over $1 trillion of premium a year, resulting in an extremely attractive market for fraud. The FBI and NICB (National Insurance Crime Bureau) estimates that roughly 10 percent of all non-health insurance claims totaling $40 billion a year are very likely fraudulent.

Jul
31
2015

What drives competitive advantage? Insurers will have different answers to this question, and the argument to build your own software is often based on one of:

Jul
02
2015

In my previous post, I outlined the importance of data science in leveraging and monetizing the current proliferation of data in most digital industries. The data science group is becoming the de facto group responsible for gaining insight from a company’s data. The pressing question that most organizations without an existing data science group struggle with is how to begin building out such a team with the proper skillsets.

Jun
29
2015

As we prepare for our July 4th celebration, I recently purchased firecrackers and was reading the instructions on the back of the label;

Light, then get away.

One might consider this an example of unnecessary instructions, but that would assume that the user of the firecrackers is product domain knowledgeable before first operation. If not, then those instructions are vital for successful operation.

Jun
12
2015

At Guidewire Live, we help our customers to understand their business in context of external data and make better operational and strategic decisions.  Until recently, we assumed that our customers must also be “live” on a Guidewire core system in order to take advantage of these capabilities.  That is changing now that we have released Spotlight

Jun
10
2015

The complexity of modern property and casualty core systems can seem daunting. While the business value being delivered is quite high, it comes at the cost of inherent complexity needed in the core system as well as the integration and communications between systems.

As a result, one of the critical aspects of software evaluation has nothing to do with functional capability, but instead how the application support team can keep the system performing at a high level.

Jun
08
2015

Fraud occurs when someone knowingly lies to obtain some benefit to which they are not otherwise entitled to or someone knowingly denies some benefit that is due and to which someone is entitled. Insurance fraud occurs on both the claims and underwriting side, but we will limit the focus of this post to claims fraud. Claims fraud can be broken into two categories – “Soft Fraud” and “Hard Fraud”. Soft Fraud is used to define unwanted opportunistic behavior of normally honest people.

Jun
04
2015

The title of “Data Scientist” is a relatively recent phenomena. Coined and popularized in the late ‘90s, the title didn’t really seem to have much widespread adoption until the last decade where the extreme proliferation of data and the need to analyze it forced companies to seek out the specialized resources best suited for this task. When I first entered the field a decade ago, the term “data scientist” really didn’t even exist (don’t most scientists use data?). To illustrate, I started as

Apr
28
2015

When business users talk about operational reports, their primary concern is the output - the information they require to make the decision at hand.  To them, a report is a report is a report.  It’s a thing.  But to make reporting happen, you actually need three things, not one.

The right data

Apr
24
2015

One of the most frequent questions I get during a sales cycle is “What’s the best way to integrate my document solution with Guidewire?” Another way to frame this question is “How will your products impact my current document infrastructure?”

Apr
10
2015

We all agree that predictive modeling is a powerful tool that can help us make better business decisions in every segment of the P&C insurance value chain. Daily we come across all kinds of industry statistics on how P&C carriers are planning to increase their investment in predictive analytics and where they are planning to invest. The ‘how we do it’ is equally important as the ‘what we do’.

Apr
01
2015

I love golf. So much so that my wife often questions my sanity. It’s my favorite sport to play and watch, but the latter only when I’m already sleepy and not playing golf. Why do I bring this up in a Guidewire blog? Golf holds a lot of similarities to building product, any kind of product, whether it’s a software product or an insurance offering. 

There are different aspects to both that hold key similarities. For simplicity, let’s break down building product into three buckets:

Mar
27
2015

Digital technologies have profoundly changed how we do business. Because these technologies impact virtually all business functions and customer interactions, today’s companies recognize the importance of becoming a “digital business.” This notion is certainly supported by insurance industry articles, discussions, and conference references.  But what does it really mean to be a digital business?   

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